for the light blogging. I left my office after 10 pm for the past 2 days. I stay at work more than I stay at home. Please bear with me till the end of the year. I will most probably post a long entry today.
These days nothing makes me concerned as much as what Syria might ask in return for its assistance in Iraq. What reward does Assad want? Does he want Lebanon back? Does he want to save high profile Syrian officials from the Hariri tribunal? Does he want renewed talks with Israel over the Golan? Recognition from the west? Ending Syria's isolation?
Lebanon to Syria is like a toy to a child. Like a bone to a dog. That what really makes me very concerned.
The political arena of Lebanon is known for the often bizzare alliances between the various political factions. One of the strangest alliances we're witnessing these days is between Hezbollah and the Free Patriotic Movement, the powerful Christian political party led by General Michel Aoun.
Aoun, who was exiled in Paris and was staunchly anti-Syria, returned to Lebanon after the Cedar Revolution. Instead of allying himself with March 14, he parted from them and allied himself with hezbollah thus giving Nasrallah a much needed buffer to do the crap he did and is doing now.
In Lebanon people regard Allah to be above in the sky and their political (sect) leader on earth. If their sect leader said the sun will rise from the west, then you should expect his followers to agree. This is what happened in the case of the Aoun-Hezbollah alliance. Aoun, who was against Hezbollah when he was in Paris, is now saying Nasrallah is cute and cuddly. His Christian followers immediately answered with an amen.
The above led to the below picture. A Christian chick and follower of Aoun draped in the Hezbollah flag. That's the definition of irony right: a low waist wearing Lebanese chick with a tattoo above her buttocks draped in a Hezbollah flag.
This is Lebanese politics people.
Well, Am I the only one who wishes God would've made him a Hezbollah flag???
Three days ago 5 Sunnis riding explosives laden cars attacked the Shia dominated Sadr City in Baghdad. Over 200 were instantly killed, scores were wounded and maimed.
Yesterday, a group of Shias waited outside a Sunni mosque as the worshipers were coming out. They grabbed 6 Sunnis, poured kerosene on them, and set them on fire. They burned them alive.
Today, a group of Sunnis stormed two Shia homes, grabbed 21 men and gunned them down in front of their families.
Iraqis are doing to each other more than what Saddam did to them.
Lebanese protester stepping on Lebanon's president and Syria's poodle Emile Lahoud, Bashar Assad, and Ahmadinajad.
I noticed a very interesting thing regarding the position of Al Jazeera in Iraq and Lebanon.
In Iraq, if you went to any Shia and asked him about Al Jazeera, you will most probably hear curses raining on the Qatari financed channel. If you asked a Sunni, praises are what you will get.
Now the complete opposite is true in Lebanon. Shias who form the core supporters of Hezbollah love Al Jazeera and Lebanese Sunnis who are mostly in the anti-Syria camp despise it.
In Iraq, Shias who mostly welcomed the removal of Saddam Hussein, rightfully believe Al Jazeera is sympathatic to Sunni terrorism and acts indifferently towards the massacres committed against them ever since Saddam's regime ended in April 2003. This is the reason why Arabic speaking Shias tend to watch Al Arabiya instead making it the number one news channel in Iraq. They see Al Arabiya as more balanced and much more critical of what suicide bombers and head choppers are doing in Iraq.
Sunnis on the other hand welcome Al Jazeera's anti-America rhetoric and the channel's emphasis on their civilian casualties during the coalition's military campaigns in Iraq's Sunni heartland. That's not to say that all Sunnis supported the initial wave of terror unleashed on the Shias when Saddam fell. Many Sunnis welcomed the removal of Saddam and hoped for a better future with their Shia countrymen. All what I'm trying to say is that an opinion poll would undoubtly show that Al Jazeera is less popular with Shias than with the Sunnis in Iraq.
We find the complete opposite in Lebanon. The pro-independence anti-Syria March 14 alliance is composed of the largest Sunni political block, one of the largest Christian parties, and the Druze community. The Sunnis who are members of March 14 feel Al Jazeera has an agenda which is against their attempts to rid Lebanon of all Syrian influence. Mustapha, a Sunni Lebanese blogger, shares his perspective on the channel in one of his posts.
Now, what led to Al Jazeera being hated by one sect in Iraq and loved by the same sect in Lebanon. There is one significant reason. Al Jazeera's platform, its agenda, its editorial line, is based on a sole basis: anti-Americanism. The channel is obsessed with America. If I forgot to lift the toilet seat up and drops of piss ended up on the seat, Al Jazeera will report that with its usual anti-American twist. This what really makes Al Jazeera so unprofessional simply because you can't be a professional news outlet while your entire editorial line is determined by one factor whether it is anti-Americanism or pro-Americanism.
So this is what happened: Al Jazeera supported the anti-America terrorists in Iraq and ended up upsetting the Shias who are victims of the same terrorists. Knowing that the US wants to end Syrian hegemony over Lebanon as well as Hezbollah's threatening influence, Al Jazeera worked against that and ended up being hated by the Lebanese Sunnis.
Another important factor invoving Lebanon that I should mention is the position of Saudi Arabia which is the region's main backer of Sunnis in Lebanon (Rafik Hariri himself was a Saudi citizen). The Saudis are very much concerned about the status of Lebanese Sunnis and therefore support March 14 who not only despise Syrian influence but also the Iranian meddling that their Shia countrymen bring to Lebanon (something Saudi is not so happy with). Qatar on the other hand competes with Saudi Arabia for regional influence and therefore it wants to undermine "Saudi's allies" in Lebanon. And here where Al Jazeera comes in.
Pierre Gemayel's father Amin (C) comforted by Muslim Sunni leader Saad Hariri (R) and Christian Maronite leader Samir Geagea (L)
Lots of Bashar Assad pics were burned today.
Patricia Gemayel, wife of Pierre Gemayel, mourning her husband.
Now this picture is priceless. 2 Muslim girls (most probably Sunni Muslims) carrying the picture of Christian Maronite leader Samir Geagea. This picture should make any Lebanese proud.
"The International Tribunal. Faithfulness to the martyrs and hell to the traitors"
Another interesting picture. A Sunni covered lady carrying the picture of Pierre Gemayel.
Now, a Muslim woman wearing the niqab carrying the picture of a Christian leader, that's something Christians in Egypt will have wet dreams about!
Well, this could happen in Egypt though. Just bring in some Shias, Sunnis will be busy fighting with Shias, and the Christians will befriend one of them! hehehehe.
The lady is probably a member of Jamaah Ismaliyah, a Muslim Brotherhood like organization in Lebanon. Their leader gave a speech today at the funeral. Lebanon is currently going through very intense sectarian days. Secular Sunnis and Sunni Islamists are uniting against Shia Hezbollah.
Btw, did you notice her beautiful eyes??!! Shshshsh, she might hear me and end up covering them
The highest estimate I read was 800,000. I love the Lebanese.
In one of the deadliest suicide attacks in Iraq, 5 explosves laden suicide cars attacked the Shia dominated Sadr City killing over 160.
And of course Al Jazeera, the Arabs street, and those who are busy pouring their anger on Farouk Hosni because of his comments on the hair cover reacted towards today's massacre in Baghdad in the strongest manner possible:
Well will you excuse me I need to hit the loo
I'm at work now and I can't really concentrate on events in Lebanon today, but the news I got indicate that thousands upon thousands attended the funeral of Pierre Gemayel, Lebanon's assassinated minister of industry. I log on websites and forums whenever I have a couple of minutes to spare until I get home and see exactly what happened today. From the reports and pictures I've seen today, it seems as if we're having another March 14 2005, another Cedar Revolution.
I just read Saad Hariri's speech he gave a few minutes ago. I was moved to tears. I translated the best part:
Peace be upon you my brothers, peace be upon you my friend the minister the prince and the hero. Peace be upon you my brother the martyr the young the bridegroom Pierre Gemayel. I send with you my kisses, my regards, and my longing for my father the martyr the hero Rafik Hariri.
Rafik Bahaa eldin Hariri is a Sunni Muslim from Lebanon. Pierre Amin Gemayel is a Maronite Christian from Lebanon. Their blood today was mixed on one land, its name is Lebanon. Their souls meet today in one heaven for Lebanon, as a sacrifice for Lebanon, in defense of Lebanon, for the freedom of Lebanon, for the sovereignty of Lebanon, for the independence of Lebanon, for the Arabism of Lebanon.
Update: The funeral was massive. Lebanese police said that around 800,000 people attended. That's a huge number for a country of the size of Lebanon. Well done March 14 folks. My heart is with you.
Up till now the controversy caused by the culture minister's comments on the hijab is still raging. Every time I read about this story I feel more and more ashamed that I'm living in this country. There are numerous things that make me proud of this country, how the country descended into such stupidity, ignorance, and darkness is definitely not among them. I feel like vomiting every time I think about how this man was virulently attacked for merely stating his opinion on a thing as stupid as the hair cover. I just feel sick of the whole story. I'm going to write a very important post in the coming days on what this incident reveals about Egypt and its future. So stay tuned.
I'll end with a quote I came up with and which I think explains the issue pretty well: the hair cover became to Islam what a hymen is to a virgin.
What a disaster.